More than twenty years after the 1994 genocide, Rwandans are grappling with the question of what kinds of persons were capable of making or letting the genocide happen, and how they can know it won’t happen again.
Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in post-genocide Rwanda, this talk by Dr. Laura Eramian, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie, will explore how competing views of “good personhood” are at the core of everyday conundrums over what a good post-conflict society should look like. She will draw these issues out through attention to local peace-building organizations that aim to foster reconciliation by transforming the population into persons who are, in their words, “capable of peace.” In the lecture, she will contend that these reconciliation interventions ultimately falter on the contradictions of what it means to make peace by remaking persons and raise questions about the long-term effects of post-conflict recovery projects on people’s lives and social worlds.
Dr. Eramian holds a BA and MA from the University of Western Ontario and a PhD in Anthropology from York University. Her scholarly work focuses on personhood and relationships of patronage, kinship, friendship, and neighbourliness in situations of violent conflict. She investigates these issues through the everyday social lives of urban dwellers in small town Rwanda.